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Fortune Most Powerful Women NextGen: Accenture and Girls Who Code #fortune

Speaking Wednesday at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women NextGen Summit in Laguna Niguel, CA, Reshma Saujani, founder and CEO of Girls Who Code and Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture North America gave their thoughts and suggestions on how to improve diversity efforts throughout an organization.  

For Accenture the role of diversity is ingrained in the company.   “In February, Accenture North America became the first—and remains the only—professional services firm to publish race and gender statistics on its workforce.”  In addition, Sweet explained that changes are being made within the organization to even the playing field among employees.  Accenture, in working “on ways to get more women into senior leadership positions” updated the “interview process so that candidates of both genders get to know more members in the executive ranks”.

Saujani, working outside of a large corporate structure informed the audience on the industry as it relates to women.  "Despite the efforts of Girls Who Code and the increasing awareness of the STEM gender gap, the pipeline of young women pursuing technology fields is actually shrinking.“  This is surprising but eerily similar to the decrease in blacks within the medical field.  Saujani "noted how few public schools offer computer science courses—they continue to offer outdated keyboarding classes, though—and the lack of political will to change that.”

The core truth is that there are opportunities for women in technology, but being trained with the knowledge for success can be hard to come by.  Education at the lower levels at some point must develop solutions for these issues.  

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